Prosecutors up the ante against Shirley bowling alley attack suspects
(10/27/06) RIVERHEAD - Prosecutors upgraded charges Friday against two teens accused of sexually assaulting a developmentally disabled man with a plumbing snake at a Shirley bowling alley.
Michael Lunsford, 17, and Stephen Rodriguez, 19, allegedly bullied the victim for years before sodomizing him with a plumbing snake last week in the bathroom where the victim works. A state statute that went into effect in June intensifies penalties for sex crimes committed with a dangerous tool or against victims with serious injuries. Prosecutors say both conditions were met by Lunsford and Rodriguez's attack. They now face predatory sexual assault charges.
Friends and family of the defendants claim to have been with the pair at the time of the attack. Both pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $1 million cash. If convicted, Lunsford and Rodriguez face life in prison.